Advice from other sources

It may be possible to obtain advice from other sources.

Some barristers accept instructions direct from members of the public;  and there are also specialists who may or may not be lawyers but who can advise on such matters as planning, rights of way, data protection, management of organisations etc. We don’t keep a list of either, though we are always interested to hear about the use of such specialists.  A local specialist is likely to have valuable experience of how things work in his or her area;  in particular the approach of local government in the relevant area.

In any case, useful advice will be dependent upon the preparation of instructions containing a careful account of the facts.  Barristers and other specialists may not be well-placed to make the necessary enquiries, and so will be dependent upon you to supply information and documents.

A solicitor may recommend obtaining advice from a barrister specialising (for example) in property law and/or rights of way.  This is usually a good idea:  because of the way they work, barristers may have greater expertise on offer, at a lower hourly rate.

It should be added that giving of legal advice, and acting as a representative in meetings etc*, is not yet, but may become, a “reserved legal activity” under the Legal Services Act 2007, and so subject to regulation.  This change, if it comes, would affect PRS and other any other organisations giving advice.

* As opposed to exercising a right of audience to represent someone in court.  Please see also our Meetings and hearings page.